Snohomish — The Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County (BGCSC) was selected to participate in Sea Research Foundation (SRF)’s FY2015 STEM Mentoring Program, funded through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). This grant funds three curriculum modules over 12 months of programming for 120 Boys & Girls Club members. STEM mentoring connects small groups of youth with caring mentors to engage in structured, hands-on, multi-media STEM activities. BGCSC is proud to partner with Sea Research and Foundation in providing critical interactive science, technology, engineering and math activities.
With a focus on conservation, Sea Research Foundation developed three modules of programming to get kids excited about STEM learning and fostering conservation-minded citizens of the future. Volunteers from technology industry jobs and local area high schools mentor children ages 6 – 9 throughout the twelve week program.
Module 1, the Waste Wise Challenge, involved children learning about ecology and how their actions impact the environment. Working alongside mentors, the kids were able to follow a piece of trash on the journey it takes after it goes in the garbage can. The curriculum then explored how simple machines can help recycle trash and then taught the kids to build their own Lego recycling simple machine. On Friday June 10, 2016, the Waste Wise challenge culminated with a Junior First Lego League (FLL) Expo at our Snohomish Boys & Girls Club where youth displayed their machines for the community.
“The STEM Mentoring program is really great because it gives our kids an easy way to understand science, builds healthy relationships with adults who care, and teaches kids how to work together, think strategically, and problem solve all -while getting to create and play with Lego pieces,” said Chelsea Saunders, Program Director for the Snohomish County Boys & Girls Club.
For the next part of the program, mentors will guide our youth through a math/sports curriculum developed by the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. Activities will incorporate math skills with Quickball, a fast-paced game that helps teach baseball and softball skills. Module 2 will conclude with a Quickball Tournament at Gaffney Field located at the North Everett Boys & Girls Club on August 17 and 18.
More information can be found at stemmentoringprogram.org.